LA Times Crossword 26 Jul 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Rebecca Goldstein
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Tangled Web

Themed answers each include the letter sequence “W-E-B”, but it’s TANGLED, in a different order:

  • 56A According to Sir Walter Scott, what “we weave, / When first we practise to deceive” … and what appears in each set of circles : TANGLED WEB
  • 17A Reebok rival : NEW BALANCE
  • 22A “Bravo!” : A JOB WELL DONE
  • 36A Pasture neckwear : COWBELL
  • 38A Creator of a spider named Charlotte : EB WHITE
  • 48A 1968 Steppenwolf hit featured in “Easy Rider” : BORN TO BE WILD

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 6m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “A Sorta Fairytale” singer Tori : AMOS

Tori Amos is an American pianist and singer. She started playing the piano at two years old, and was composing piano pieces by age five. Amos was playing in piano bars (chaperoned by her father) when she was 14. I’m going to have to find some of her music …

5 Hawaiian coffee region : KONA

The Kona district on the Big Island of Hawaii is on the western side of the island. The largest town in Kona is Kailua-Kona. Kailua-Kona is often incorrectly referred to as “Kona”. The term “kona” translates as “leeward side of the island” in Hawaiian.

Kona coffee is cultivated on the Big Island of Hawaii, on the slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai, two of the five volcanoes on the island. Coffee plants were brought to Kona in 1828 and late in the 19th century, coffee became a viable and worthwhile crop. Today Kona is one of the most expensive and popular coffees in the world.

9 Mostly closed, like a door : AJAR

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

14 World’s most populous democracy : INDIA

The Indus river rises in Tibet and flows through the length of Pakistan before emptying into the Arabian Sea, a part of the Indian Ocean lying to the west of the Indian subcontinent. The Indus gives its name to the country of India as “India” used to be the name of the region along the eastern banks of the river, which paradoxically is now in modern-day Pakistan.

15 Expert : GURU

“Guru” is a Hindi word meaning “teacher” or “priest”.

16 “Closing Bell” channel : CNBC

“Closing Bell” is a business show on CNBC that airs each weekday. As the title suggests, the show covers the period just before the end of trading (the “closing bell”) and reviews that day on the floor after the market has closed.

17 Reebok rival : NEW BALANCE

New Balance is a footwear manufacturer based in Boston, Massachusetts.

The brand name Reebok was adopted as the new company name for Foster Shoes of the UK in 1960. The name Reebok (more commonly “Rhebok”) is an Afrikaans word for an antelope, and comes from the term “roe buck”.

21 There are 10 in standard Monopoly named for states: Abbr. : AVES

The street names in the original US version of the board game Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

22 “Bravo!” : A JOB WELL DONE

To express appreciation for a male performer at an operatic performance, traditionally one calls out “bravo!”. Appreciation for a female performer is shown by using “brava!”, and for more than one performer of either sex by using “bravi!”

26 Chicken-king link : A LA

A dish prepared “à la king” (usually chicken or turkey), is prepared in a cream sauce with mushrooms, pimentos, green peppers and sherry.

28 “Sesame Street” rating : TV-G

Back in 1966, the Carnegie Institute allocated money to study the use of television to help young children prepare for school. The institute gave a multimillion dollar grant to set up the Children’s Television Workshop with the task of creating an educational TV program for young people. The program began to come together, especially after Jim Henson (of Muppet fame) got involved. The name “Sesame Street” was chosen simply because it was the “least disliked” of all names proposed just before the program went on the air.

35 Poet Silverstein : SHEL

Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career and did a lot more than write books. Silverstein was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. One of his successful children’s books is “A Light in the Attic”, a collection of poems that was first published in 1981. Some parents have tried to get the book banned from libraries. The collection includes the poem “How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes”, which encourages disobedience and making a mess. Scandalous …

38 Creator of a spider named Charlotte : EB WHITE

“Charlotte’s Web” is a children’s novel by author E. B. White. Charlotte is a barn spider, who manages to save the life of a pig named Wilbur. Wilbur is a pet pig, owned by the farmer’s daughter, Fern Arable. The story also includes a gluttonous rat named Templeton who provides some light and comical moments.

40 GPS calculations : ETAS

Global positioning system (GPS)

43 “Silent Spring” author Rachel : CARSON

DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don’t forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book “Silent Spring”, suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

44 Like wallflowers : SHY

The wallflower is a genus of flowering plants that usually have the ability to cling to loose mortar in walls, hence the name. We use the term “wallflower” to describe a shy person, evoking the image of that person sitting shyly by the wall at a party.

45 Vegan sources of protein : BEANS

A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy that are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

47 Sign-off kisses : XES

In the sequence letter sequence “XOX”, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. “OOO” is a string of hugs, and “XXX” a string of kisses. Hugs and kisses …

48 1968 Steppenwolf hit featured in “Easy Rider” : BORN TO BE WILD

The rock anthem “Born to be Wild” was made famous by the band Steppenwolf in 1967. The song is sometimes referred to as the first heavy metal song, as the words “heavy metal thunder” appear in the lyric, the first recorded use of the term “heavy metal” in rock music.

“Easy Rider” is a 1969 movie about two bikers traversing the American Southwest and the South. The bikers are famously played by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, who also co-wrote the screenplay. Fonda produced the film and Hopper directed.

54 Bearded flower : IRIS

Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”. Many species of irises are called “flags”. One suggestion is that the alternate name comes from the Middle English “flagge” meaning “reed”. This term was used because iris leaves look like reeds.

55 Actress/activist Ruby : DEE

Ruby Dee was an actress and civil rights activist. On the big screen, she is perhaps best remembered for co-starring in “A Raisin in the Sun” alongside Sidney Poitier, in “Do the Right Thing” alongside her husband Ossie Davis, and in “American Gangster” in which she played Denzel Washington’s mother.

56 According to Sir Walter Scott, what “we weave, / When first we practise to deceive” … and what appears in each set of circles : TANGLED WEB

Here’s one most commonly misattributed quotes from English literature:

Oh, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!

Often attributed to William Shakespeare, the lines actually come from the poem “Marmion” by Sir Walter Scott.

60 Swedish furniture store : IKEA

The IKEA furniture stores use the colors blue and yellow for brand recognition. Blue and yellow are the national colors of Sweden, where IKEA was founded and is headquartered.

61 Bursts of laughter : PEALS

“Peal”, meaning “a ringing of a bell”, is thought to be a shortened form of “appeal”. The idea is that a bell-ringing can be an appeal or summons to church.

64 Haywire way to go : AWRY

Haywire is wire used to bind bales of hay. Haywire is very springy, and coils of the wire are difficult to keep under control. That characteristic gives us the informal meaning of “haywire”, namely “erratic, crazy”.

Down

1 Former maker of Reynolds Wrap : ALCOA

The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

Reynolds Metals was the leading manufacturer of aluminum foil in North America before the company was taken over by Alcoa. The consumer brand of foil made by Reynolds Metals is still sold as Reynolds Wrap. The technology behind Reynolds Wrap was apparently developed for packaging tobacco.

2 Rapper Nicki : MINAJ

Nicki Minaj is a rapper from the New York borough of Queens who was born in Trinidad.

3 Where many caught “Cats” : ON BROADWAY

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s source material for his hit musical “Cats” was T. S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. Eliot’s collection of whimsical poems was published in 1939, and was a personal favorite of Webber as he was growing up. “Cats” is the second longest-running show in Broadway history (Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” is the longest and is still running; deservedly so in my humble opinion). My wife and I have seen “Cats” a couple of times and really enjoyed it …

4 Part of a min. : SEC

The hour is subdivided into 60 parts, each of which was known as a “pars minuta prima” in Medieval Latin, translating as “first small part”. This phrase “pars minuta prima” evolved into our word “minute”. The “pars minuta prima” (minute) was further divided into 60 parts, each called a “secunda pars minuta”, meaning “second small part”. “Secunda pars minuta” evolved into our term “second”.

6 Discontinued smoothie brand : ODWALLA

Odwalla was a company in Half Moon Bay (just south of San Francisco) that sold fruit juices, smoothies and energy bars. It was acquired by Coca-Cola in 2001, but the Odwalla brand was discontinued in 2020.

7 Penpoint : NIB

“Nib” is a Scottish variant of the Old English word “neb”, with both meaning the beak of a bird. This usage of “nib” as a beak dates back to the 14th century, with “nib” meaning the tip of a pen or quill coming a little later, in the early 1600s.

8 Roadside assistance org. : AAA

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

9 Tequila source : AGAVE

Tequila is a spirit made from the blue agave. The drink takes its name from the city of Tequila, located about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara.

10 May follower : JUNE

Our contemporary calendar has its roots in the old Roman calendar, which originally had ten months and was attributed to Romulus:

  1. March (Month of Mars)
  2. April (Month of Apru/Aphrodite)
  3. May (Month of Maia)
  4. June (Month of Juno)
  5. Quintilis (Fifth Month)
  6. Sextilis (Sixth Month)
  7. September (Seventh Month)
  8. October (Eighth Month)
  9. November (Ninth Month)
  10. December (Tenth Month)

Julius Caesar order the calendar realigned, adding two months at the beginning of the year (our “January” and “February”). Subsequently, the former “fifth” month of Quintilis was renamed in honor of Julius Caesar giving our “July”, and then the former “sixth” Month of Sextilis was renamed in honor of Augustus Caesar giving our “August”.

11 Rainbows, e.g. : ARCS

Sunlight reflected by airborne water droplets can produce rainbows. The water droplets act as little prisms, dispersing the white light into its constituent colors. Sometimes we see double rainbows. If we look carefully, we can see that the order of the colors in the first and second arcs is reversed.

14 Memo heading : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

18 Like a beanpole : LANK

The term “lank” can describe something that is straight and flat, particularly hair. The usage was extended in the early 1800s (especially in the form “lanky”) to mean “awkwardly tall and thin”.

24 Desperate, as straits : DIRE

The be in dire straits is to be in a very difficult situation. The phrase “in dire straits” originated in the world of sail, and is a reference to a vessel navigating a dangerous channel of water, a dire strait.

25 Last non-AD yr. : ONE BC

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

29 White House no : VETO

The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

31 “Pocket rockets,” in poker : ACES

A pair of aces are referred to as pocket rockets, particularly when holding them in the hand (the pocket) in the popular variant of poker known as Texas hold ‘em. The term “rockets” is used as the letters A written side-by-side look like two small rockets on the launchpad (AA).

32 Kind of IRA : ROTH

Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs) were introduced in 1997 under a bill sponsored by Senator William Roth of Delaware, hence the name.

35 Mole-like mammal : SHREW

Shrews are mammals that look like small moles or long-nosed mice. They are the only terrestrial mammals that are known to echolocate, using a series of ultrasonic squeaks to examine their nearby surroundings.

49 Drool catchers : BIBS

The word “bib” comes from the Latin “bibere” meaning “to drink”, as does our word “imbibe”. So, maybe a bib is less about spilling the food, and more about soaking up the booze …

51 Shoulder muscles, briefly : DELTS

The deltoid “muscle” is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoids (delts) are triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.

52 Sushi bar beverage : SAKE

We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

56 “__ the season … ” : ‘TIS

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in the 19th century.

“’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la!”

57 AQI monitor : EPA

The air quality index (AQI) is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “A Sorta Fairytale” singer Tori : AMOS
5 Hawaiian coffee region : KONA
9 Mostly closed, like a door : AJAR
13 Points connector : LINE
14 World’s most populous democracy : INDIA
15 Expert : GURU
16 “Closing Bell” channel : CNBC
17 Reebok rival : NEW BALANCE
19 Rowing implement : OAR
20 Field of expertise : AREA
21 There are 10 in standard Monopoly named for states: Abbr. : AVES
22 “Bravo!” : A JOB WELL DONE
26 Chicken-king link : A LA
27 Creep (along) : SLINK
28 “Sesame Street” rating : TV-G
31 Passions : ARDORS
34 “__ you ready?” : ARE
35 Poet Silverstein : SHEL
36 Pasture neckwear : COWBELL
38 Creator of a spider named Charlotte : EB WHITE
40 GPS calculations : ETAS
41 Pro vote : YEA
43 “Silent Spring” author Rachel : CARSON
44 Like wallflowers : SHY
45 Vegan sources of protein : BEANS
47 Sign-off kisses : XES
48 1968 Steppenwolf hit featured in “Easy Rider” : BORN TO BE WILD
52 Distort, as data : SKEW
54 Bearded flower : IRIS
55 Actress/activist Ruby : DEE
56 According to Sir Walter Scott, what “we weave, / When first we practise to deceive” … and what appears in each set of circles : TANGLED WEB
59 Fervor : ZEAL
60 Swedish furniture store : IKEA
61 Bursts of laughter : PEALS
62 Expel : OUST
63 Stitched up : SEWN
64 Haywire way to go : AWRY
65 Chooses : OPTS

Down

1 Former maker of Reynolds Wrap : ALCOA
2 Rapper Nicki : MINAJ
3 Where many caught “Cats” : ON BROADWAY
4 Part of a min. : SEC
5 Gets down to a tot’s level : KNEELS
6 Discontinued smoothie brand : ODWALLA
7 Penpoint : NIB
8 Roadside assistance org. : AAA
9 Tequila source : AGAVE
10 May follower : JUNE
11 Rainbows, e.g. : ARCS
12 Feel remorse for : RUE
14 Memo heading : IN RE
18 Like a beanpole : LANK
20 Far from clueless : AWARE
23 Splotches : BLOBS
24 Desperate, as straits : DIRE
25 Last non-AD yr. : ONE BC
28 Box orientation instruction : THIS SIDE UP
29 White House no : VETO
30 Secluded spot : GLEN
31 “Pocket rockets,” in poker : ACES
32 Kind of IRA : ROTH
33 More foxy : SLYER
35 Mole-like mammal : SHREW
37 Tilt : LEAN
39 Shapes, as eyebrows : WAXES
42 Like many peaceful protests : ANTIWAR
45 Cereal serving : BOWL
46 In a bad way : SORELY
48 Started : BEGAN
49 Drool catchers : BIBS
50 “It’s the __ I can do” : LEAST
51 Shoulder muscles, briefly : DELTS
52 Sushi bar beverage : SAKE
53 Was informed (of) : KNEW
56 “__ the season … ” : ‘TIS
57 AQI monitor : EPA
58 Beads on grass : DEW
59 State of chaos : ZOO

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 Jul 21, Monday”

  1. Kind of a WEB in and of itself.

    Messed up on 30D GLEN.. Went with TVM for 28A.. and SHEA for 35A.. so 30D was MAEN?? didn’t see GLEN coming and I forgot SHEL !! aarrgghh.

    By the way,.. what does a PEAL OF LAUGHTER SOUND LIKE?

  2. 4:22

    I was guessing at the theme as soon as I saw which three letters were circled in NEWBALANCE. We used to go fairly regularly to the nearby New Balance outlet store.

    @Anon Mike, I imagine “peals of laughter” to be like a large audience laughing their heads off, and starting each other laughing even more, and so the sound swells and falls like a carillon of bells.

  3. As usual, I thought it was hard for a Monday. We had 3 omissions:

    5A – the coffee region of Hawaii, 6D – the smoothie brand and 47A, the sign-off kisses.
    Didn’t know any of these. Still glad to get 98% solved.
    And kudos to all you guys and gals that are so fast and good.

  4. Mostly easy Monday; took 9:14 with no errors or peeks. A little dancing around in the E section with me thinking they just pluck eyebrows and having to reread the “sign off kisses” a few times. But managed without too much trouble.

    I knew about Odwalla because they formed in and to the north of Santa Cruz, while I was going to UCSC, and were very popular. Interesting to finally read about the origin of the name: A character from the poem/song “Illistrum” who leads the people of the sun out of the grey haze. Kind of a strange tune, if you asked me though…

    Checked up on Reynolds Wrap…apparently Alcoa sold to a Kiwi billionaire who renamed it to Reynolds Packaging Group, and that into ….Holdings. Alcoa sold back in 2008, so I guess former is appropriate.

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